Instant Gratification

This week we discuss how SOPA or a bill like it would effect virtual worlds, why people leave Second Life and more!

This week’s topics include:


William Reed Seal-Foss (Reed Steamroller) is a 3D artist and virtual world content creator for Sand Castle Studios, LLC.

Bernhard Drax (Draxtor Despres) is a musician, new media producer, and machinima journalist.

Karl Stiefvater (Qarl Fizz, formerly Qarl Linden) is visual effects artist, software developer, and interactive designer extraordinaire.

Thank you to our sponsor, Pretty Feet!

About Kim/Gianna

Kimberly Winnington (SL: Gianna Borgnine) is the Emmy nominated owner and CEO of Sand Castle Studios, LLC, a company dedicated to helping organizations maximize the full potential of virtual worlds and social media by creating interactive, social, and 3D experiences. For the last 5 years, Kimberly has helped SCS clients stay ahead of the curve and is a respected resource for information on current and developing trends, social media, and immersive experiences.
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7 Responses to Instant Gratification

  1. Crap Mariner says:

    Congrats on the sponsor… Fluffee’s feet have never looked so good!

    SOPA – Good quick impact assessment.

    I’d think that Linden Lab’s just keeping their head down, trying to stay off the radar. And this just fits the “let the users/customers do the work” model… let the users do all the screaming and ranting and building and such.

    (For the record, I did not black out my writing site. I write all original material, all contributors write original material, and anything based on the intellectual property of others falls under fair use/parody laws.)

    Thanks for discussing the “Are high-profile community leaders obligated to let people know they’ve left and why they’ve left?” (I plan on leaving a statement through Twitter in the form of “Eh, who needs to thaw a turkey through deep-frying it? I’m hungry!”)

    What frightens me most about my “why do people leave SL?” list is that I actually knew that many people close enough to generate such a list.

    Agreed on Draxtor’s “swallowed the hype and vomited up sour grapes” theory. And Gianna’s SLebrity theory… I get roped into 5 directions at once every day, it feels like a chore, which is why I created the GDILMTFA storytelling alt… or just ignore the IMs, crank Voice/stream, and play with the cats.

    I’m nodding my head so much, I need to see a chiropractor.

    The radio show felt like a setup, the hostess was a twit, and Rod/Lowell tried to respond without spin. Rod and Pete and other public-facing types at the Lab need to engage with critics and the curious more.

    Direct Delivery… still not understanding the logic behind Marketplace, because LL depends on land recurring revenue, Marketplace is slowly gutting in-world sales… oh well. I guess the dagger in the heart of the in-world shopping experience wasn’t sharp enough.

    Charlar? [CENSORED] Attitude? *shrug*

    This American Life episode… good one. Apple’s got themselves a Disney sweatshop scandal there. Saw Ira Glass down here in Houston, and every time he cueues a story, I envision him doing a long sweep of his arm like he did on the stage. (other good eye-opener podcasts are, The Moth, Studio 360, To The Best Of Our Knowledge, and Story Collider… just stay away from that lousy 100 word story one. Ugh!)

    WTG on the Hunger In Los Angeles project…. speaking of which, I need to get something to eat!


  2. Hi folks,

    Great podcast as always 😉

    On the aussie radio interview, just a couple of points:

    – Rod and I were scheduled guests
    – ABC still has an island in SL with an active community 😉

  3. Vanessa says:

    – Drax is the wannabe troublemaker
    – there is so much misinformation regarding SOPA, I’m surprised that you added more. As for Drax’s comment regarding a twitter comment, again he has got it wrong. The comment made referred to the blackout of internet websites over the entire world, by 11.6% of internet users (US residents). And you need to remember, theft in SL is rampant, because people assume its all ok and they can steal images, breach copyright etc quite freely without consequence. It looks like there will be consequence now, for all the hypocrites ripping product to bring into SL. Many of the problems regarding SOPA are because people have not read the proposed legislation, instead relying upon bloggers interpretation. Not a good idea. Blogs notoriously push the bloggers own ideals, or are written sensationally to acquire hits. I thought it quite funny that people boasted they had blacked out their blogs simply to garner hits. Pathetic really.
    – Staying/leaving SL – I agree with Reed in this, who cares for the reason? However, when you are sponsoring people financially, it is pretty rude to run off without saying a word. When you bring people into your circle to sell your product with your hype, you owe something to these people. Ethically it is dodgy. IMO.
    – Wow, newsflash – Secondlife doesn’t spoon feed you entertainment on a plate!!! But in fact it does – there are personal challenges to achieve, if you choose to do this. There are people to meet, skills to learn, ideas to discover, art in which to indulge. So much more than any gaming platform could ever offer. Note to Drax – boring people are bored.
    – Drax, for your info – the Kyle and Jackie show in Australia is quite controversial in Sydney (it’s base). Secondlife was seen as fitting in quite well. Not everything is American you know, specially not in Australia. My opinion is that Kyle knows Secondlife well, and has dipped into in frequently. And yes, Rod Humble did well, with eyes wide open. Keep in mind also, that Australians tend to laugh at foreigners anyway, so in this light he did very well. And, not only the ABC was in SL, but also Bigpond (major telco) – interviews were done on Australian TV (60 minutes) back in 2007 and this resulted in a huge influx of Australians to SL. I guess some people live under a rock.
    – “Assigned Oz” and “cool” does not make sense. Oz is definitely not cool about anything, even Karl’s code.
    – There is nothing new about what goes on in China in the name of progress – remember this country let over 30 million of its own people starve to death in a manufactured famine. This country has no industrial law, no protection for employees. And we quite happily buy product made there because it is so much cheaper. We quite happily watch major manufacturing corporations go offshore to China, taking jobs from our own countries, justified by the promise of new tech. THIS IS NOT NEW. It’s been happening since the 1950s. But we are quite happy to turn a blind eye, if only to ensure that we have access to our cheap toys. There are industrial towns in China where the infant mortality rate is over 50% due to massive pollutants, but as long as we get our new gizmos, all is ok.
    – Congrats on the Sundance entry! I hope this gains your company some well earned recognition :)

  4. Medhue says:

    Yay! New Sponsor!

    SOPA – It truely floors me that, despite all the crooks in government, people still think the gov is looking out for the individual. Some people are f_ing blind. Not you guys, metareality, but some people in SL. To me, the solution is simple, don’t buy the music, don’t buy the movies, and don’t goto the theatre. These trends are enevitable, and these corporations with die without governement help. Let’s all just help them along. Then, when these leaches are gone, I can pay the artists directly. It’s too bad the artists don’t have enough guts to do it themselves.

    Leaving SL – Well, I think that if you have a following, it is best to say goodbye. To do anything else, I would think is rude to the people that supported you.

    Why Leave – Personally, I assume they can’t create, lol, cause if you can, you’d not leave.

    FB/SL – Well, those other things are just blurbs. SL is engaging. I’ve never chatted with more than 2 people at a time on a social network. In SL, it is common for me to be talking to more that 4 people at the exact same time. But this is just comparing the social part. Really, I’m mostly in SL to create.

    Rod Radio – I thought it was probably the most positive SL promotion I’ve ever heard. You guys made it sound like it was slightly negative. They didn’t talk to Rod enough tho, it was more like the shortest cameo I have heard.

    DD – Before it was in closed beta, now it is open beta. I’m not doing it cause I don’t like having to change my password just to update my inventory on the beta grid. I make stuff daily. I have no idea why DD takes this long to implement.

    Qarl – Although I completely understand, I still think you went a little overboard. I never really liked creating with prims, so the alignment tool is probably lost on me tho. Yay, mesh! Personally, I think the Lindens are getting better. At least, that’s what i see.

    Pathfinder – Really, I’ve never thought of the Lindens as Gods. Actually, I think of myself or other creators as Gods, cause we create something out of nothing. But… the admins do have too much control over screwing things up.

    Apple – They are evil, and it is just another reason to not buy their overly priced junk. Yeah, other companies do similar things, but they don’t have the highest profit margin in the market, and don’t charge twice the price on a platform with almost no options.

  5. Metacam Oh says:

    Great podcast guys, keep up the good work.

    I do not think Qarl overreacted one bit. He is completely right. If I even gave an attitude to a customer at work I would be shitcanned in a second, even if they were cursing me out on the phone, I don’t get why employees at the Lab feel like its ok to belittle residents and give them attitudes. In the JIRA where most of this happened, Oz Linden came in and said take the discussion elsewhere, like there was some better place to take the discussion about Qarls submission, then the JIRA about it, nor did he care to give thought into “perhaps this should be written in the most polite wording possible”. Is there something wrong with asking Linden Lab employees to be polite to us? Thank you for your hard work and submission, there may be some issues we will look at, but thank you. Instead it is like, the code is shit, go fix it and come back while listing reasons that eventually got annihilated. They *should* see a decent amount of paying customers and content creators want this tool they should make it happen, without all the BS and red tape, and if they are going to be so picky with their code they shouldn’t roll out features that are broken like mesh, with no plans to fix it, while Qarl here has to come in and clean up their shitty mess at the customers extra expense.

    The comparison between SL and Minecraft’s success, its not just because Notch is a ‘nice guy’, because Rod Humble seems like a nice guy. It’s that the two companies act completely different toward their customers. Minecraft Pocket Edition rolled out and everyone said, hey this is garbage, we need survival, we need this, we need that, so what does Mojang do? They rebuild the entire app from scratch and are set to re-release it because of this. Throughout the entire development of the game they have operated like this and it has steered them to make a one hell of a game, and a very successful one.

    When Linden Lab makes a decision they don’t care what the Residents say, they have the holier than thou attitude that they know better, and it comes through in their interactions with the customers and in their direction as a company. Linden Lab went ahead built a completely new viewer for Second Life, without any input from the residents, and when everyone screamed at the top of their lungs to have the old UI back, Oz Linden, with an attitude once again, said drop dead, it ain’t gonna happen.

    None of these idiots are going to have jobs in a few years because they all thought they knew SL better than the people who use it, and could not do any worse trying to hide their disdain for their users in their interactions with them. Another perfect example is this new product they have in the works. Now I will eat my hat if it is the best thing ever, but seriously, their paying customers do not want this. They did not ask for this, yet here Linden Lab is again, they know better, allocate new resources to a new product B, while main product A needs all the manpower it can get, and is currently the life blood of the company.

    It’s funny how everyone is always looking at the user base and projected value of the Facebooks and the Twitters, meanwhile out of all of them, Linden Lab is the most “real” and profitable business of them all. There needs to be no projected value, Linden Lab has customers who routinely pay them hundreds of dollars a month, thousands a dollars a year, which nets them millions in dollars in real profit. Yet for some reason that is looked at as a failure from post people, because they don’t have 300 million logins a day, and shove advertising down everyone’s throats. You can login to Second Life as a free user and never have one shitty Google Ad in your face, or some 30 second video that is blasting audio that you can’t mute or reloads every time you switch to another page (yes, Digg, I’m talking to you). Twitter is starting to add their own kind of promoted advertisements that are less invasive, but Twitter itself has made no money. Twitter may be valued by someone at some astronomical amount, but those 300 million users will never pay a cent to use Twitter, and that potential value goes completely out the window if the next big thing comes by and people leave Twitter. That’s not a business model, that’s smoke and mirrors, go look at MySpace. All these fake valuations are based upon getting everyone on the planet there, so that they could sell an advertising products and personal info to rich corporations.

    Second Life does not need 300 million users to sustain itself, and while it would be nice when the world finally opens up to virtual spaces and “gets it” – There should be nothing wrong from Linden Labs perspective that they haven’t been widely accepted yet, because their current core of customers contribute to millions in positive profit. Constantly looking over at Twitter and Facebook and saying “how can we get those people” what they do is forget about the current group of customers, which is essentially shooting themselves in the foot. How many years and money have they wasted trying to find the magic formula in their viewer, as if Joe Facebook is going to stay if the Fly button is on the right side instead of the left? All they had to do was make a viewer that the users could re-skin and reposition the buttons and they would have been 2-3 years ahead of schedule by now.

    Focus primarily on making your current customers the happiest they can be, fix the things they want, give them the features they want, and eventually you will have an amazing product that new people will gravitate to.

    This also brings me to the point about people who get bored in Second Life, or can’t find something to do, or get tired of it and leave. I, like Draxtor, cannot imagine anyone saying that. Even in real life I can never understand when people are on facebook or on AIM saying “I’m bored”. You’re bored? With a gazillion books, movies, web sites, video games, etc, (you get the point) you can’t find something to do? Seriously? In RL, as in SL, I can always find something to do, a web site to read, a sim to visit, an object to create, the possibilities are endless, and we may need to possibly just accept that these people are not going to be the pioneers and the dedicated users that sustain Second Life, and lead it into the next phase of the internet. These people are the sheep, the followers, and Linden Lab needs to stop trying to lure this type of person in.

    You know there is something to be said about the mindlessness of games like Angry Birds, and the vastly largely unproductive time spent reading Facebook, not to mention the total invasion and lack of privacy you open yourself up to by being on it. Maybe you have Second Life’s new marketing theme.

    It may not have 100 million users, and it may not be a game where you mindlessly flick your iphone over and over again, nor a place where every thing you do is broadcasted to the world, and thank god for that. Second Life is a place for creatives, a place for intellectuals on the cusp of the future. (Obviously there are a few sad exceptions, but we are talking marketing here :)) If you’re a mindless Facebook sheep, or have no imagination, we don’t want you.

    It may not be the most popular marketing strategy, but there is nothing wrong with being forceful and condemning the mindless, privacy invasive, and time wasting thing that the Internet is becoming (or has become), especially when your product speaks for itself, and enables people, not dumbs them down to milk them for all the advertising dollars they are worth.

    I think the smart people will see that.

    Damn that was a long one, sorry :)

  6. Lexi Zelin says:

    I totally agree with having your avatar be your store owner makes sl NOT FUN ANYMORE. lol I own AngelRED Couture and the im’s just don’t fucking stop… so I don’t get on sl at all really unless im creating clothing for a release. im sorry but sl get’s fuuuuukn olllldddd … lol but im not bitchn i make RL money off sl and im really happy bout that but the days of happy go lucky sl is so over now and it’s kinda sad sometimes

  7. Nonoy says:

    First time here. This podcast changes how I see about SOPA. Awesome podcast! Oh my, I can’t believe covering or doing a rendition of another artist can bring you in prison. I hope the bill doesn’t go far in the Philippines. Will come back soon. Kudos to your blog! Instant gratification rules!

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